How to Track Your Daily Draws with a Tarot Bullet Journal
Starting a tarot journal was one of the best things I did for my tarot practice.
I resisted it for a very long time. I had heard of journalling but didn't take the plunge and I had been learning and reading tarot for at least two years before starting to do daily draws!
Seriously, years. Looking back I'm a little mortified that it took me so long because it's one of the best things I did to enhance my tarot practice!
So if you're one of those people that has read about tarot journalling, and the practice of drawing a card of the day, and thought to yourself "that's a nice idea" but never got around to actually doing it then let me tell you, I feel you.
The thing that actually pushed me to start journalling is lusting over other people's beautiful bullet journals on Instagram! I just love stationery! Pretty notebooks, coloured pens, and well drawn bullet journal pages. I simply love looking at them.
I wanted to start a bullet journal of my own, having heard great things about it, but honestly, I use Google Keep to maintain a to do list and I'm not one for habit trackers. If I want to track water consumption or something I'll record it in My Fitness Pal.
But why not a Tarot Bullet Journal? Now that was in intriguing idea!
Where to start, though? What do you even put in a tarot journal and how do you maintain a bullet journal inspired one? How does it all work?
To answer the first question, you start by simply recording your daily draws. That's what I did.
Loving the visual aspect of journalling, I use a set of tarot symbols, sort of like a tarot shorthand, to visually represent each card. Colour coded and all!
It sounds like it's a lot of work but it's actually not. It really only takes a few minutes every morning to do this and tracking my daily draws in this was has helped me in so many ways!
It's helped me:
Relate the cards to everyday situations
Discover unexpected meanings
Notice patterns occurring in my life over time
Track when major forces are at play in my life
Really reflect on what's going on in my life and how I should move forward
Get into the habit of noticing dominances and tarot numerology, and applying that to my readings
My method is a little different to others: I love using tarot symbols (which you don't need any special skill to draw, by the way!), and place great emphasis on colour coding and noticing the patterns over the whole month, on top of reflecting on the events of each day.
I highly recommend you start doing this too and today I'm going to teach you how to get started.
By the way, before we get into more detail about this, I just wanna say that I actually have a whole course all about tarot bullet journaling, Tarot BuJo Bootcamp. In the course I take you through the entire process of starting a tarot bullet journal, show you all the possible uses beyond daily draws, all the layout options for those uses.
Keep reading to enroll in a FREE intuitive tarot course!
Tools You Will Need
Rest assured, there are pictures in this post, and I am going to show you these symbols I keep raving on about in the next section, but I want to take a short moment to discuss what tools you need to get started.
To follow my methodology you will need three things:
A grid paper/dot grid journal
A set of coloured pens
A set of stencils/drawing templates
Let's go through each one in a little more detail, shall we? So you know why I recommend them, what they are for, and the exact ones I use.
Grid Paper/Dot Grid Journal
This one is very important! The reason why I use a grid paper journal is that the squares in the grid makes it MUCH easier to draw and leave space for everything evenly.
I don't recommend going for blank or regular lined pages because you won't be able to draw symbols of even sizes or set aside equal spaces for everything like I do.
Which journal do I use? Right now I am using the Leuchtturm1917 Medium Size Hardcover A5 Notebook and I like it a lot, not only because of the paper quality and the grid itself, but because the pages are numbered and there is an index page in the front where you can write the page number and keep track of where everything is.
Initially, this one may not seem so obvious to you. Like, why not just use a regular black or blue pen?
Well, setting aside the fact that it's pretty to look at, designating a different colour for majors and each suit makes it very easy to look at patterns at a glance without actually having to read what you have written. Just count how many purples, for example, to count how many majors you got in a month. Quick and easy!
So, which pens do I use? Currently, I am using the Staedtler Triplus Fineliner pens. They are very smooth but I don't like how the tips tend to split after you use them for a long time.
I posted the tarot symbols I use in my journal on social media and you guys just loved them! Your enthusiasm and interest is the main reason I'm writing about this. But what has that got to do with stencils? Everything! Many people were impressed at how neatly I draw my tarot shorthand and lamented of their own poor drawing skills.
Well you know what? I suck at freehand drawing too!
The secret is stencils! Using stencils, I can draw the symbols neatly in less than a minute and I'm confident you can draw yours quickly and easily too!
To be able to draw any and all kinds of symbols and shapes you just need 2-3 basic stencils:
One of circles in different sizes big to small
One of ellipses in different sizes big to small
Optional: One of squares in different sizes big to small
Before I started this blog, I studied jewellery design and because of that I already had separate stencils for everything. If you want to use the same ones I do I recommend the Staedtler and Timely brands. They're good.
However, if you want once stencil that can handle mostly everything you can try this one. It's got all the shapes I mentioned and more.
By combining shapes you can draw anything! And fast too!
FREE INTUITIVE TAROT COURSE!
By now you must be insanely curious about this set of tarot symbols I keep raving on about. What is she talking about and how do I use it in my journal? Well, here they are!
Basically, instead of writing out the name of each card when I record my card of the day, I draw the card out as a symbol.
Why? Because, one, I am a visual person and I like seeing it this way, and two because it makes it so easy to tell what I am looking at in a quick glance.
For example, instead of having to read "Six of Pentacles" or "Chariot" I can just look at the page and immediately tell what it is.
The symbols you see here have kind of evolved over time. When I first started tarot journaling, I did some research on Pinterest into what occult symbols are common and that other people use, and copied some (a few from here). Others are my own ideas.
A small side note, the A in the picture is Ace of Pentacles. I wanted to have one reference page in my journal for all the symbols in case I forgot one.
For the suits, I wanted to quickly represent how I would use them for aces, numbers, as well as courts.
Please feel free to use these symbols as you please for personal use in your own journal. Hopefully, this inspires you to use symbols in your tarot journal!
As a disclaimer though, when sharing online don’t forget to say where you got your symbols from! And since a couple of the symbols I am using have been inspired by and used the by permission of Interrobang Tarot, you may also need to credit Evvie Marin, the owner of Interrobang Tarot, as one of your sources if what you are sharing includes any of her symbols. Evvie Marin, further requires you to get her written permission for commercial and promotional use of any of her symbols as well (see her set of symbols and details here).
In any case, you can make up your own personal symbols to represent the tarot cards! And if you're not a fan of using drawn symbols, that's cool too! Just make up your own written shorthand to help you easily identify the cards.
The point is you pick a symbol (or other chosen shorthand) for each card that you feel represents that card well and that you can easily recognise and you designate a separate colour for:
When you draw them out you use a different coloured pen to represent each suit and the majors. It goes back again to what I said about being able to visually differentiate everything really easily.
How to Track Your Daily Draws
Now we come to the real meat of the post. You want to know how I use these symbols and what my system is for tracking daily draws! Let's get started.
The system is pretty simple. As you can see in the picture, I make three columns in my bullet journal:
Every morning I pick a card and draw out the symbol I've designated for that card. Then at the end of the day, which to be honest mostly ends up being the next morning, I write down my thoughts on how the card I picked related to my day. That's basically it!
Some of you may still be thinking, it looks so neat, I won't be able to do it like that.
Yes, you can!
What I do is at the end of every month, I spend some time drawing out the layout for my daily draws for the entire month. That way, every morning I just pick a card and draw it in the space provided. Done in under 5 minutes!
If you feel you want more space for your thoughts, allocate how much ever you feel you need when you're doing your layout.
Another point I want to mention is if you're learning the card meanings, you can draw it out in landscape orientation and leave one column for keywords. In the mornings you pick your card, draw the symbol, and write down 2-3 keywords. This is a good way to help you memorise the card meanings!
If you get stuck relating the card to how your day went, remember that the card meaning can express itself in different ways. In my experience my card of the day could represent:
One significant moment of the day
Theme of the entire day
Energetic forces involved that day
Literal things I did that looked similar to the people in the cards
FREE INTUITIVE TAROT COURSE!
End of Month Reflection
We're not done yet! There's one thing I make sure to do at the end of every month. I notice the patterns in the cards and reflect upon what's being going on in my life that month.
On the last day of every month I count:
How many majors there were
How many of each suit
How many court cards
Any numbers that repeated more than once
Any card that repeated more than once (I am starting to track this starting from this month, which is why you don't see it in the picture)
Now you can really see the colour coding shine!
By using coloured pens to draw out those tarot symbols (or whatever shorthand you prefer to use), it's not only visually appealing, but we have made it so much easier to tally everything up quickly and easily.
Now, the way I decide on what the totals mean is by referring to my table of tarot probabilities. What is tarot probabilities? I'll give you an example:
There are 78 cards in the deck and 22 majors.
22/78 = 0.28
0.28 x 100 = 28% chance of a major card showing up in any spread
.28 x 30 days = 8.46 cards
Basically, I have just calculated, using probabilities, that in a period of 30 days it is normal to get 8-9 major cards. If I have counted more than 9 then I know that large forces have been at play in my life that month.
Here are the probabilities for all of the categories I mentioned above for a 30 day period:
Majors: 8-9 cards
Each suit, including courts: 5-6 cards
Court cards of all suits: 6-7 cards
Any number: 2-3 times
Any card: 0-1
Once you start tracking this, you can really dig in to what the cards have been trying to tell you that month.
Then, the final step is to write down your thoughts in the space you set aside for the end of month reflection.
Other Ideas for your Tarot Journal
Okay, so I've shown you my system for daily draws but what else can you use a tarot journal for?
Keeping track of readings you do for yourself.
Recording spreads that you commonly use.
As a quick reference for keywords, tarot numerology, what dominances mean, etc.
To take notes on each card, the suits, or anything else you're studying.
Hopefully this should be enough to get you started. I cannot recommend keeping a tarot journal highly enough!
What are your experiences with tarot journalling?